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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stir-Fried Asparagus with Ginger Coins and Sesame Oil




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Asparagus is still plentiful in our local farmer's markets and I wanted to share this recipe with you while it is still being harvested. This is a quick and delicious stir-fry that is flavored with dark Asian sesame oil and sliced ginger that is crushed as it is stir-fried. It is easy to make and the only thing you have to be cautious of  is overcooking the asparagus. This dish comes together quickly but the length of time it actually cooks will depend on the thickness of the stalks. The times suggested in this recipe are based on medium-sized spears. If yours are thicker or thinner, you are on your own and will have to play it by ear. Asparagus cooked in this way has wonderful flavor and absolutely gorgeous color. I love this dish for its taste and visual appeal and, left to my own devices, I'll mix it with brown rice and make a meal of it. Bob prefers it as a side dish. As I was pulling the elements of this post together, I realized I had done another Asian-style recipe last year on this day. I'm sure my subconscious is toying with me. Sensible people don't stir-fry on Memorial Day, yet I did it again. I think I must be channeling a special friend.

Several years ago Bob and I traveled through Southeast Asia with some remarkable people. Many of them had military backgrounds and had served in Vietnam. The testosterone levels in the group were fairly high and there was polite jostling among the men see whose exploits and memories would carry the day. Tucked in our group was a woman, about my age, who had a passion for textiles and weaving. She was a charmer with a wicked sense of humor, but like most of us gals, she looked like a grandmother and her interests pegged her as a homebody. The way she carried herself and spoke led me to believe I had only seen one side of the coin. I could sense there was more, a whole lot more to her story, and that she was a person with a tale to tell. At any rate, we adopted each other for the duration of the trip and I picked up on the vague smile that appeared when the guys talked rank. I also had seen the distinctive silver chain she used to carry her keys. Its spread eagle insignia helped me put the pieces together, so I had a sense of who she was, though I still was not sure and did not ask. I tend not to pry and prefer to let folks tell their own stories when they are ready to unveil them. That happened as we came closer to Hanoi. She withdrew a bit and absented herself from the group when we toured the Hanoi Hilton. That evening she shared bits of her history with me. My friend had retired from the service with flag rank. She was a Bird Colonel, the first woman ever to to achieve that rank. She entered the service right out of college and because of her age and medical background, she had first hand knowledge of what happened in the Hanoi Hilton. She had absented herself from the tour because she did not want to see a sanitized version of a place she knew to be a hell hole. She spoke briefly of the death she had seen during her tours, but her focus was on the damaged minds and bodies the war had left behind. She carried the weight of those who were less honored than their fallen comrades, those who had no special day set aside for remembrance of the sacrifices they, too, had made. Since meeting her, we've expanded our Memorial Day to include them all and proudly fly the flag to salute them and, of course, her. I send my thanks today to all who serve. May God bless and keep you all.


Stir-Fried Asparagus with Ginger Coins and Sesame Oil...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Nancie McDermott

Ingredients:
1 pound asparagus (1 bunch)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 thin, quarter-sized slices fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Directions:
1) Break off and discard woody base of each stalk. Cut usable portion of each stalk into 2-inch sections, placing tips and stalk pieces in separate piles.
2) Heat a large, deep skillet or wok over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. Add vegetables oil and turn pan to coat it evenly. Add ginger coins to pan. Salt and cook, scooping and pressing down on ginger slices to mix with oil and salt. Cook until ginger is fragrant, about 15 seconds.
3) Reserving tips, scatter stalk sections into pan and toss with ginger and oil. Cook, tossing now and then, until shiny and bright green, about 30 seconds. Add tips and toss to mix everything well.
4) Add broth to pan, pouring it in around the sides, and toss to mix well. Cook, scooping and turning now and then, until the asparagus is tender but still firm, and most of stock has cooked away, about 3 minutes.
5) Add sesame oil and toss ingredients to coat. Turn out onto a serving plate. Serve hot or warm. Yield: 4 servings.








One Year Ago Today: Asian-Style Mushroom Soup







Two years Ago Today: Blue Cheese Bread















Three Years Ago Today: Dandelion Blueberry Bars


25 comments :

Ginny said...

My goodness what a sad story. She sounds like a remarkable woman, I would love to talk with her.

Hovkonditorn said...

Looks really delicious! And ginger and sesame oil gives it a nice taste!

Lenia said...

What a lovely way to cook asparagus!Have a lovely day,dear Mary!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

Mary thank you so much for your story.

And never enough asparagus recipes!

Pam said...

What a brave woman. I am so grateful to those that do so much for us.

Kim said...

Love fresh aspargus and these pairs so well with ginger... These looks goooodddd!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

This could turn out to be one of our favourites, yum yum. Take care Diane

http://platanosmangoes.com said...

Great combination. I can eat asparagus everyday...will try it your way...

lea said...

A lovely story Mary. Thank you.

Shawn@I Wash...You Dry said...

This looks super tasty! I need to go get some asparagus!

mother said...

ciao, bella ricetta fresca e primaverile.
Puoi provare ad aggiungerci anche qualche arachide per dare croccantezza e un gusto veramente esplosivo.
Baci,Mother

Kathy said...

Love fresh asparagus and what a great combo with the ginger!

zippiknits said...

That looks and sounds absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing it. I enjoy your recipes.

Priya said...

Full of flavours, beautiful dish.

shooting star said...

i simply love making such easy dishes with fresh vegetables!!

but since i dont eat chicken.....what broth shall i use instead of chicken???

http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

Erica said...

I love the Asian flavors in this dish,Mary! It sounds and looks really good!

Manju said...

wow Mary,
What a simple yet tasty looking recipe....

I've been a regular visitor of ur blog for a while now and every post of yours amazes me :-)

Do stop by my space when time permits...

Regards,
Manju
http://manjuseatingdelights.blogspot.com

Amalia said...

Wow, what an amazing story! I know I wouldn't be able to do what she did or what other people who serve our country do. It's crazy to think about, all my prayers go out to those people who sacrifice so much for others. God bless them.

P.S. This looks really tasty! I love asparagus, it's one of my favorite vegetables!

France@beyondthepeel said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Joanne said...

What a beautiful tribute post to your friend! ANd I LOVE this dish. I'd be all over those ginger coins.

Rambling Tart said...

I love asparagus with ginger, but I've always grated it. I'm delighted that it will work just dandy with ginger coins instead. :-)

Dining Alone said...

What a great post, thanks for sharing the story. I have just visited a blog where a cook has just discovered sesame oil, she needs to check out this recipe!

gobakeyourself said...

What a stunning asparagus dish :D
Great flavour combos!

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Challenge Coins said...

I hope this dish will be delicious because its looking so nice many many thanks for this dish.

Cloisonne Lapel Pins said...

good recipe, accentually ginger is very important in food items,ginger has a unique taste and unique benifits. i like it, great job

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